These words have been taken from The Westbury Harriers 75th Anniversary Club History Book, compiled by our late President Peter Griffin.
Athletics started seriously in Bristol in 1882 with the formation of Bristol Athletic Club, but it was as early as in the turn of the century that those living in the village of Westbury-
The local lads, therefore, used to train together and run through the village streets. A Club photograph taken as early as 1913 shows the proud village members with W H on their vests so that they could be distinguished from the others. As GEORGE PYKE (85) recalled –
Under the guidance of ALBERT ‘NOBBY’ CLARK (senior) they trained regularly, using an old Pavilion/Summer House on the lawn behind the ‘White Lion Hotel’ as a Changing Room. The whole area is today the Car Park, and their washing facilities used to consist of a tin bath of water, luke-
It was in 1924 that a 40 year old veteran member called GILBERT WALKER thought it would be a good idea if the village boys were to form their own Club. He decided to call a meeting for anyone interested and booked a room at the ‘White Lion Hotel’ for a Friday night.
The following is an extract from the first Minute Book:
“At a meeting of sportsmen at the ‘White Lion Hotel’, Westbury, Feb. 8th 1924, it was proposed by Mr. P. Ubank, seconded by Mr. Busby that a Harriers Club be formed and that it should be called “Westbury Harriers” carried unanimously.
The following officers were elected “pro-
Chairman: J. Chambers. Prop. by Mr. G. R. Walker, seconded by Mr. G. Pyke carried.
Secretary and Tres.: G. R. Walker, Prop. Mr. G. Pyke. seconded by Mr. Ritchings carried.
Captain: Mr. J. Chambers, Prop. by Mr. G. Pyke, seconded Mr. Clarke carried.
Vice Capt. Mr. W. Busby. Prop. Mr. H. Whyati, seconded Mr. Ritchings carried.
Proposed by Mr. G. Pike that the entrance fee and sub at present be 2/-
After carefully considering the different points raised over this it was seconded by Mr. W. Ritchings and carried unanimously. Several details were given in a speech by the Chairman, on the best way to carry on. Points of his own experience were given and if carried out should be of great benefit to the Junior Section of the Club.
Other matters were thrashed out in detail and when the meeting closed it was felt by all present that the Club was going to be a huge success. Proposed that the Minutes be accepted Mr. G. Pyke, seconded Mr. Busby carried.”
It is interesting to note that ‘The White Lion Hotel’ was originally an old Inn and Posting Station in whose courtyard it was customary for the local lads to settle their disputes in the old-